Home > Uncategorized > Carter v. Cohen Upholds Attorney’s Fee Award Greater than the Underlying Rent Dispute

Carter v. Cohen Upholds Attorney’s Fee Award Greater than the Underlying Rent Dispute

Carter v. Cohen [No. B214393. Second Dist., Div. Four. Sep. 28, 2010.] was a landlord-tenant dispute where the jury made a determination that the tenant’s claim and excess rent payments amounted to only $11,590.  Despite this, the Court affirmed an award of $25,575 in attorney’s fees to the tenant, which was double the underlying principal recovery but still less than the amount of attorney’s fees that the plaintiff had requested.  The appellate court held there was no error in the trial court issuing an attorney’s fee award as costs to a plaintiff who recovers less than the jurisdictional amount for an unlimited civil case, when that plaintiff reasonably and in good faith initiated the action believing that the ultimate recovery would exceed the jurisdictional limit.  The appellate court remanded to the trial court, solely for a determination of the amount of attorney fees to be awarded to the tenant as the prevailing party on the appeal as well.  Ultimately, this decision defers to the trial judge’s reasonable discretion on whether under these circumstances, an attorney’s fee request is reasonable and the amount to be awarded.

All Rights Reserved © 2010 by Michael L. Mau, Esq.

The Mau Law Firm

Blog: http://maulaw.spaces.live.com

Website: www.MauLaw.com

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Categories: Uncategorized
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